salute – Light Up (ft. Liv Dawson)

It isn’t summer yet, but in many parts of the world, it’s certainly getting warmer. Whatever the middle of the year brings for you, the anticipation is building. Kids and working folks are getting restless. Schools are nearing their final stretch, vacations are being planned, and festival lineups are being revealed. Summer jams are starting to roll out of the studios. We most certainly have plenty of time before the end of June, but producers like salute are getting a jump on things. UK producer salute  has shared a lighthearted new single in which he teams up with English singer Liv Dawson. “Light Up,” is a new track which has a distinct character and rich optimism. Liv Dawson presents a soulful and expressive vocal line that is very well supported by salute. The balance between pop melody and electro-R&B is struck perfectly, and the composition remains interesting throughout.

On ‘Light Up’, salute and Liv Dawson find common ground in their affinity for soul music. Liv Dawson’s solo releases, while heavily influenced by electronic music through numerous remixes and collaborations, are grounded in R&B. Her own compositions often channel Destiny’s Child-like harmonies and chord progressions, and her vocal melismas can be reminiscent of Alicia Keys. salute, similarly, has steadily released music that jumps from jazz to R&B to dance music, sometimes within the same song. The first track off his ‘My Heart EP‘ that he released last year, for example, begins and ends as a gospel-jazz jam, complete with organ and brush kit.

Just beneath the glittery production, big-room reverb and future bass drops, you can hear both artist’s more soulful influences lurking. For example, the production foregoes any extended instrumental build-ups, the kind that are almost a prerequisite for banger’s nowadays. Instead of sections like that, we get more song; “Light Up” even features a bridge that provides a change in texture for the second half of the tune. There’s strong songwriting at play here, and the lyrics are honest enough to give a real sense of happiness: “This is a first for me / I’m in a place where I wanna be / I’m not going back, no I’m not going back.” This could very well stand for finding a sense of contentment after time of struggle, or even depression. Maybe it’s about finding your escape from the everyday grind, maybe getting out of the city: “Take me to the place where I can see the setting sun.” Or maybe it’s more relationship-centric: “I’m just a fool in love.” Either way, there’s a physical destination as well as a mental destination that’s referenced. Wherever your happy place is, this track wants to meet you there.

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Evan Dice

Evan is a lifelong musician, growing up in classical and world music, then rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop, a little bit of metal, and eventually, electronic music. After growing up abroad and travelling extensively, he returned to the United States for school and now lives in New York City. Evan is an active collaborator as a violinist and a producer, and is a fan of genre-blending (within reason). He can be found at home investigating the intersection between jazz and techno with a table full of samplers and synthesizers, or out in the city, reading on the train or supporting live Arts- particularly the experimental kind. Be it dance, theater or music, great people with brilliant minds are coming up with fantastic creative things to show every day, and this is inspiring.

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